Renault Valencia ban lifted by FIA

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Fernando Alonso will get to race at home
Fernando Alonso will get to race at home

Fernando Alonso will race for Renault in this weekend’s European Grand Prix as the FIA quashed the swingeing penalty imposed on the team by the Hungarian Grand Prix stewards.

With Nelson Piquet Jnr dropped by the team, GP2 driver Romain Grosjean is expected to race the second R29 alongside Alonso.

No race ban and a $50,000 fine - too soft or too harsh?

  • Too harsh (10%)
  • About right (56%)
  • Too soft (34%)

Total Voters: 1,446

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The FIA’s decision read:

Renault admitted to the Court that it breached the Sporting Regulations, in that it failed to ensure that car no. 7 complied with the conditions for safety throughout practice and the race, and that it released the car after a pit stop when it was unsafe to do so. However, it requested the Court to reconsider the severity of the sanction imposed by the Stewards.

Having heard the arguments of the parties, the Court has decided as follows:

1. to allow the appeal and overturn the sanction imposed by the Stewards in the Contested Decision;

2. to issue a reprimand and impose a fine of $50,000 upon Renault.

I am somewhat surprised by the leniency of the ultimate punishment. While I thought the FIA would do the sensible thing and let Renault race this weekend, I’m surprised it has come with a heavier fine or at least a suspended sentence, the type of which McLaren got after the Australian Grand Prix.

But then Renault have done well in appeals in the past. Whether they have deserved to or if they just have a good legal team I’ll leave up to you…

84 comments on “Renault Valencia ban lifted by FIA”

  1. Great decision and the new sanction is far more consistent with the precedent ones.

    In any case we have had to wait some days to know what finally happens… as always.

    1. last year the Spanish grand prix was voted the worst but this year Renault might do the difference

    2. I would argue that the Stewards decisions, and the FIA courts have shown nothing but inconsistency, this decision, while good for the Valencia box office, emphasizes more than ever the need for a permanent team of Stewards to be present at all GP’s, then needless appeals/courts could be avoided.

  2. Excellent decision. Why now is another story.

    1. Sasbus,

      The Reason is pretty clear. No Alonso in Spain would mean a lot of empty seats. It is all about the Benjamins. I am glad to see this I think that the penalty was crazy steep. Guess we get to the the new guy race.

  3. Paul Sainsbury
    17th August 2009, 17:50

    Great news, the original punishment did not fit the crime and seemed a knee-jerk reaction to the awful events of the preceeding 2 weeks.

    Good sense has prevailed here I think.

  4. best news of the month :)

  5. Juanito Guanabacoa
    17th August 2009, 17:58

    Excellent news, besides, this nearly month time off, was a punishment, for all of us :)

  6. Great news of course!

    But $50,000… please, talk about from one extreme to the other. That’s about the price of a used 911.

  7. I really wonder how they are going to try spin the insane embarassment away from the three responsible stewards.

    1. Could not agree more…

  8. Fantastic news and Spain gets to see their hero Alonso again. Another replacement too…good luck Grosjean!:)

  9. This is a ridiculous

    How can you apply a race ban that has a financial penalty or a couple of million and replace it with a 50K fine.

    For whats it worth i have no issue with Renault being allowed to race this weekend (i fact i think they should be able to for the sake of the sport) but the replacemnt penalty should carry the same weight as the orginal penalty.

    At best this makes the FIA own stewards look incompetent at worst it shows little respect for saftey.

    Why does this make me so angrey?
    – We all know that wheels coming off can kill people somthing that has upsettingly been proved this year.
    – Is 50K a real detterant to a team with yearly budget of over 175 Million (I dont really think so)
    – Therefore would a team take a risk and allow a car to leave the pits without the wheel securely attached (hoping it will stay on) in order to gain/matain a spoting advantage knowing that it will cost them 50K (quite possiably yes)

    My rant continues….

    On a side note have you noticed that nearly all after race penalty’s are then appealed that tells me teams have little respect in the current stewards system and this judgement is only going to confirm this view meaning that we are all going to be subject to these huge waits to know what the true punishments are why the court of appeal looks into everything. (also why do appeals take so long to go through the system lets be honest here how busy is the motorsport appeal court really??)

    1. I agree with you. The frustrating thing is that the $50k fine shows just as much consistency as the original penalty. If there was any logic to the original penalty (which there was) than this absolutely discredits it.

      Losing a wheel at race speeds is much more serious than a wheel hanging off a Red Bull under safety car. If RB got fined $50k, then surely Renault deserve much more

      1. and a grid penalty

    2. It’s not only the teams that have little respect for the stewards I would have thought most fans have little respect for them either.

      Regarding punishments I think consistency is important and if you are going to make changes you should announce it beforehand not just to the teams but to the public also.

      I thought the race ban was too harsh but I agree with other comments here that to go from a race ban to a £50,000 fine is a big difference. To a F1 team this isn’t really much money and won’t act as a deterrent.

      This has reminded me of Valencia last year when Ferrari were fined €10,000 for the unsafe release of Massa’s car after a pit stop, people also said that was lenient and wouldn’t act as a deterrent.

      Has anyone done an analysis of recent F1 penalties such as what teams can expect if X happens, and how many of the penalties are actually written in the rules and how much is up to the judgement of the officials. For example pit lane speeding during practice is a fine but during the race is a drive through, am I correct in thinking these punishments are actually written in the rules.

  10. Well it gave us something to talk about during the 4 weeks off; that and Schumacher. Good decision.

  11. Mark Hitchcock
    17th August 2009, 18:37

    What a surprise.

    Having agreed with the decision to ban them at first, I changed my mind over the last few weeks and don’t particularly mind them being allowed to race.
    But a $50,000 fine is ridiculous.
    Even if the ban wasn’t necessary is was presumably imposed to send a message to Renault and the rest of the grid that they need to be very sure the car is safe to be released onto the racetrack.
    But the only message this U-turn and relatively tiny fine sends out is that you can release a dangerous car onto the track if you want as long as you’ve got good enough lawyers and it’s your star driver’s home race next meeting.

    1. Mark Hitchcock
      17th August 2009, 18:40

      Again this is an issue of inconsistency with the stewards.
      I don’t really mind what they do, no matter how harsh or lenient as long as they are consistent so everyone knows where they stand.

      1. It was also inconsistant with previous decisions for similar offences. It was viewed by many as a knee-jerk reaction after the two freak accidents and after the heads cooled the court of appeal brought the right decision.

        1. Mark Hitchcock
          17th August 2009, 22:58

          I understand that, and as I said I changed my mind about whether the ban was right or not.
          I still think the team did something seriously wrong and needed to be punished. The ban was too harsh and possibly a knee-jerk but could have set a precedent that would make other teams think twice in a similar situation in future. Lifting the ban was arguably right, but giving them such a lenient penalty as a replacement was not right at all. And that’s the inconsistency I’m talking about.

          Yes the original ban was inconsistent with the way stewards dealt with incidents like this in the past, but that’s because in the past they have made even worse decisions by ignoring things like Kimi’s exhaust.
          Like I said, I don’t care whether they’re lenient, susceptible to knee-jerk reactions or very harsh. All they need to do is be consistent.
          This decision is anything but consistent.

      2. Thats why the stewards should be people who understand the sport and not a bunch of idiots from counbtries that dont even produce cars, much less race cars.
        The stewards should also be above the politics of the day. They shouldnt be going around trying to muster support for Max or anyone else and should only be concerned with is the car legal for the sport.
        As far as them sending the car out with the whell not tightned properly, they paid the ulimate fine when the car had to come back in on 3 wheels. and lost all the time it did.

        1. Mark Hitchcock
          18th August 2009, 16:57

          not a bunch of idiots from counbtries that dont even produce cars, much less race cars.

          What a stupid thing to say. Just because someone comes from a country that doesn’t produce or race cars doesn’t mean they don’t understand racing.

          they paid the ultimate fine when the car had to come back in on 3 wheels. and lost all the time it did.

          They were lucky that’s all that happened. The wheel could easily have struck another car, another driver, a marshal etc.
          To let them off so easily is to ignore the lessons learnt from the Surtees and Massa accidents.

          1. obviously it does and has for a long time now.

  12. 50,000$$ is very cheap. I would have fined them 25 million dollars. alonso’s underpants will fetch more than 50,000 $ at an auction at valencia. anyway we get to see alonso’s tank race around the streets of valencia for a good bargain. renault must thank their stars.

    1. alonso’s underpants will fetch more than 50,000 $ at an auction at valencia.

      only you would pay that much.

      The fine is consistent with what others have been hit with.
      25million is rediculous, the venom of the McLaren’s fine has come out again. (By the way, I think the fine McLaren had to pay was rediculous also)

    2. in my opinion the fine shouldn’t have even been a financial one, nor one that relates to them being banned for the race.

      The fine could have been related to the constructors points in some way. For example, the initial fine could have been that Renault will have part of its constructors points removed for the next race. Renault made a penalty when they allowed Alonso to keep driving the car around the track on 3 wheels. I think something relating to the removal or restriction of points for the next race could have been implemented.

  13. How predictable. Now we just have to wait for Romain Grosjean to be named as 2nd driver.

    But I think it’s written in the stars that the two Renault’s will take each other out at the first corner!

    1. But I think it’s written in the stars that the two Renault’s will take each other out at the first corner!

      wow!! i dream of it everynight, two renaults crashing into each other. in the dream this crash happens over the bridge & one of the renault is thrown into the mediterranean sea. i also see the fisherman retrieving the car using their fishing net. not sure which renault it is though. if my intuitions are to be trusted, i see one of the renault falling into the sea.

  14. I have to agree with everyone here so far.INCONSISTENCY.One race ban OR a $50,000 fine?!The stewards and the FIA’s ‘PER RACE’ rules are a joke.

    But,I am happy that Alonso is racing…and I am sure most of Spain is too.

  15. Oh what a surprise!

  16. i would like to know for many more years will we have to put up with these ugly looking cars? another 10 maybe? even my great-grandmother, who’s 105, is easily able to differentiate the 2009 cars from the 2008. & she also asks me whether these are real cars or just photographs of toys. she also pointed out the disproportion in the front & rear wings & thought those looked weird.

    1. I feel the same way about the 2008 cars. It’s like someone barfed a boatload of scrap pieces of carbon all over the cars and was unable to remove them.

      The 2009 cars might be less balanced, they look much much better than the 2008 ones.

      1. yeh, the 09 have really grown on me now. i used to like the complexities on the cars (not so much now) but now the rear wings look tiny. i think the red bull (post silverstone) looks the best and looks in proportion now with the larger nose.
        and to keep it relevant, fantastic alonso is racing this weekend. i was worried the crowd would go nuts being deprived of schumacher and their home hero. that would be insanely bad for the sport.

    2. & she also asks me whether these are real cars or just photographs of toys.

      lol

  17. While I agree about the lifting of the race ban, 50k sounds too little compared to other fines IMHO. But I’m happy for the spanish crowd (and hope that there won’t be negative press this time because of 2 or 3 idiots) :)

  18. Grace Lovvorn
    17th August 2009, 21:05

    My theory for this decision is something called, I don’t know, MONEY. Since everyone’s let down about Schumi’s false comeback, they definitely won’t be going to Valencia, especially if their dear Fernando isn’t there. So, no Alonso+no Schumacher+Valencia=Epic Failure. And the FIA FINALLY got that through their thick heads! They don’t want a bunch of empty seats (although it is Valencia…you shouldn’t expect much) and a few riots/protests.
    So, they let Renault off the hook. And for the $50,000 fine? Please. Fernando and Flava Flav probably spend that much on champagne and/or supermodels every night. Just saying…

  19. I’m amazed that most people think this $50,000 fine is “just about right”.

    I wonder how these things work though. I envision a bunch of Renault lawyers talking for hours about how it was unfair and a shy FIA offical is put forward to explain in 5 minutes how it was fair.

    1. Ah ok, I see James Allen compares this to the fine that Red Bull got for letting Vettel continue for an extra lap with his broken car. Guess that makes sense.

      Although in this case I still say they deserve more punishment for their faulty pit stop procedures. Not a race ban, but this calculated risk should be punished severely enough to make sure next time they sway calculations to err on the safe side.

  20. This sport is a joke. $50k fine, is pocket change. Why are there two extremes? Race ban, (gravely serious) then Renault get to pay for the after race drinks round.

  21. Good to See Alonso back on track…..

    The FIA,Stewards, F1 management, rules everything has become a big joke. They have no clue what they are doing. Is there an end to this whole extremities and inconsistencies.

    Maybe the Wheel coming of is not great thing for them even though a young driver died of that the previous week. Maybe we should fine Brawn GP for the the spring fly out. That makes it consistent.

    Each detached component not due to an accident from a moving F1 car – $50,000 :)

    Let there be some crazy consistency at least. We can understand how the stewards might be feeling now Or the whole thing was just staged to show how serious FIA is about the Safety after Surtees and Massa accidents.

    Anyway all said and done F1 is more fun now a days in the courtrooms of Paris, Stewards office and Mosley’s office than on the Race Track.

  22. would have been different if Alonsos stupidity not to pull over when he knew his wheel was about to fly off of his car, and could have quite easily hit another driver and result in yet another incident. Alonso has gone down in my estimations since the incident and feel the punishment is way too soft. I mean what is $50,000 to an F1 Team.

    1. Mark Hitchcock
      17th August 2009, 23:03

      He didn’t know, that’s the main reason the team were punished so harshly first time round.
      He told the team he thought he had a puncture and (according to the FIA who heard all available communications within the team) the team decided not to correct him.

      He thought he could just cruise back to the pits and get a new set of tyres and the team apparently knew it was worse than that.
      It’s this misunderstanding of exactly what the team did wrong which gives some people the view that the original penalty was much too harsh.

  23. The ban was ludicrous but the replacement penalty makes a mockery of the entire issue. 50K is probably far less than Flav’s catering budget for his yacht.

    On the substance, sending out a car that was going to send a driver into a wall, launch a high energy missile into race traffic, or both, needs to have a serious penalty. They should have been put to the back of the grid and given a suspended race suspension.

  24. Just wondering, what are the cost of the legal fees required to mount an appeal?

  25. Anyone who disagrees with this decision is no racer. Not in the mind, the heart, or the soul.

    1. In your opinion

  26. Even if we think the wheel changer knew the wheel was not secure, the penalty is against the team meaning the question is what the team “knew.” If we think Renault knowingly released Alonso back on the track with a loose wheel, then the penalty should have been suspension from Valencia (at least). That seems unlikely, however. Renault had more to lose from a loose wheel (i.e., a DNF) than by the extra time it would have taken to ensure the wheel was secure (i.e., a few places in the race). Also, Renault had experienced a DNF due to that exact situation at exactly the same track in 2006 with exactly the same driver.

    The relevant question for me is whether it was reasonable to expect Renault as a team to recognize the problem, diagnose the problem, and take corrective action (probably telling Alonso to immediately pull off), all within the time frame of the event. If yes, then the penalty was too light. If not, then the penalty was probably about right.

    I do not know the answer to my question, but I do think it has to be answered remembering that we are talking about a large, complex organization with many personnel actively competing in an F1 race.

    1. Mark Hitchcock
      17th August 2009, 23:08

      Give this man a medal, someone who finally seems to have a rational and balanced view of the event.

      Whether or not the team deliberately did something wrong it does need to be investigated.
      The mechanic on the wheel in question must have known it wasn’t secure and if he failed or was unable to tell the team in time for anything to be done about it then that’s a failure by the team.

      1. Mark Hitchcock
        17th August 2009, 23:09

        Not necessarily a failure that breaches any rules, but a failure that needs to be sorted out by the team in order to avoid anything like this happening again.

    2. I’ll put the replay in again then:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wt-tAB9Lk-A

      The mechanic signals the wheel is done when clearly someone is still working on it.

      They should simply not put their hand up until the work is actually … done.

      So they in fact DID sent Alonso out knowing that the wheel nut retainer was not installed properly.

      Renault obviously did not contest this. They pleaded guilty on the charges.

      They claimed the penalty was too high and indeed they got the same penalty as Red Bull. Red Bull was fined $50,000 for letting Vettel run around for an extra lap with a loose wheel.

      What worries me is that it really looks like this is part of a faulty procedure. Mechanic puts his hand up when he installed the nut while another machanic still installs the fairing/nut retainer. They hope, the fuel guys aren’t done before it’s installed. With Alonso’s incredibly short stint and resulting low fuel load, the fuelling was done before the wheel was finished resulting in the drama.

      If they don’t change this procedure, it could happen again.

      1. Mark Hitchcock
        18th August 2009, 16:47

        If they don’t change this procedure, it could happen again.

        Absolutely.
        Or at least make sure there’s an easy and quick way for the mechanics to communicate that there was a problem (if one isn’t already in place).

  27. It would have made much more sense if a grid demotion penalty was handed out. But hey, it’s the FIA, were consistency flew away! ;)

  28. Somebody’s bank balance has increased significantly; and I don’t mean just the lawyers

    1. The 50K will be spent by Todt “Newman” and Miss Mieuw promoting road safety in Palm Beach

  29. I can’t help but feel that this is a tad soft. Specially after the incidents that occured the previous day and the week before. I’m not an alonso fan, and understandibly he would be gutted if unable to race. But what is $50,000 to a team with the capitol of Renault. It is the teams job to make sure that wheels, nose cones…etc are fixed properly to the car.

    I feel that there should be a larger punishment that $50,000. Think what punishment McLaren got at the start of the season disqualified from the race and this 3 race ban if anything else is found out. This was for lie. Not something that could be pottentially life threatening. If it didn’t hit another driver there is the marshalls that are at risk.

    I feel they deserve something more for what happend. Because I think of who they are they have got off loosly.

  30. Can the actions of the FIA still surprise anyone?

  31. its fernando…of course they will let renault race in valencia! i never thought for a second that the ban would stand….but i didnt think a $50k fine would be imposed….even a £50k fine wouldnt suffice! imagine if bankers were told if they failed the worlds financial system they would have £50k taken off their £100mil bonus! u think they would give a damn? lol.

    i think a grid penalty should have been imposed though. vettel got a 10place? penalty for driving around at the END of a race under the safety car with 3 wheels….but renault knowingly released alonso with essentially 3 wheels during a race. luckily there were no other drivers around. get it together please.

    1. I’m pretty sure all Vettel got for driving around on 3 wheels was the fine (which made perfect sense), the 10 place grid penalty was if I remember correctly for causing the collision with Kubica (which was crap and as much Kubica’s fault).

      Still, can’t quite compare a personal fine to one for an entire team.

      Letting the renault drivers race is the only thing they could have done (as it wasn’t Alonso’s fault, let alone Romain :P), but the penalty feels a very light. I don’t get why they don’t simply strip Renault of any Constructor’s points the Renault drivers might drive together… that way you get the best of both worlds.

    2. imagine if bankers were told if they failed the worlds financial system they would have £50k taken off their £100mil bonus! u think they would give a damn? lol.

      Well, bankers not only have not taken out any pound of their bonuses but you (and the rest of the people), have subsidized them with billions (Dolars, Pounds, Euros) through our tax payments also.

  32. The real issue here is the amazing contrast in the severity of the two punishments. It’s like a “real” court (as opposed to those of the Kangaroo variety that the FIA usually utilises) sentencing someone to death and then that is reduced to a good behaviour bond on appeal.

    The FIA needs to make the punishment fit the crime, which means getting it right the first time – something I am sure is categorically impossible for them to do. This just serves to highlight the incompetence of the FIA & its stewards.

    Whatever, I am over all of this BS. So much so that I am even looking forward to Valencia ;)

  33. I think BoB has it right. Frankly I would go so far as to say the sanction is too harsh. For exactly the reasons the BoB points out. Anyhow, good to see Frank Alonso back in one of his home races. Can you imagine if this were Ferrari being let off the hook for 50K? Everyone would be squeeling conspiracy! :-)

  34. The fine was too little, but it was a right desicion to allow them to race.

    What the FIA should done is:

    1) Fine the Team in the millions
    2) Any points won in the race to be excluded from contructors championship, driver to get points, just like what they did to Mclaren during the Spygate era.

    If this was passed, I would say it was a very fair desicion. Its pretty obvious Renault got of so easy because Flavio is Bernie’s bossom buddy..not to mention business partner.

    Whataver the case, hopefully Alonso will qualify on pole in front of his home crowd, of course, last more than 1 lap. Its a pretty difficult track to pass on, so I guess qualifying is going to be the key!

  35. In many ways Renault were punished by losing the race in Hungary through the wheel of Alonso’s car coming off, but that doesn’t matter now does it!
    I believe the ruling from the FIA is politically motivated, possibly away of appeasing a team tinkering with the idea of leaving Formula One. Secondly, the prospect of Fernando Alonso not racing in Spain would have done more damage to the sport’s image than good.
    In many ways, it could have turned thousands of Spanish fans off the sport for good, after buying tickets for good money only to not get to see their double world champion race.
    Its a common sense call, a business call, but one that poses some uncomfortable questions for F1. Following the injuries to Felipe Massa in Hungary, one cannot help but wonder what will happen if we have debris coming off cars in Valencia. Also, the other teams must be wondering if a $50,000 fine would apply to them in a simular situation?
    However, on the whole, this argument will be ‘dodged’ and forgotten, until the next time!

  36. Way too soft in my opinion,

    i wonder how it would have been had the tire struck a car or stayed on a circuit and caused a lethal hazard…

    I understand the economics behind it, but please FIA consider me dumb, and give them a suspaneded race ban with a grid penalty and something like at least 250,000 US$ fine. that would have been the least acceptable, and the suspended ban would have always served as a reminder that the FIA doesn’t just prefer Money over Safety.

    this way they are fining a major safety infraction for 50 Gs… Geezzz i would really really like to see these kind of penalties made consistent.

    1. *Suspended

  37. OK, so the way ahead is clearly signposted for any team that gets ‘too harsh’ a penalty (in other words ANY penalty) imposed by the FIA: Appeal and just pay a fine….

  38. Also, has anybody else noticed this season, and the few before, that the FIA Stewards, although quite happy to impose financial, grid and time penalties (things easily disputed) seem to be very unwilling to commit themselves to using the flags, stop-and-go and drive-throughs as penalties (things you cannot argue about afterwards)?
    I think somebody has told them not to interfere with the ‘show’, and the on-screen performance of the various sponsors.
    This is detracting from the actual ‘racing’ we have come to watch. This is detracting from drivers and teams behaving properly on the track and and in the pits. This won’t get a team to think about safety or good driving. This will only make more money for the FIA and their lawyers….

  39. To those who would suggest a larger fine, consider the FIA’s recent aggressive cost-cutting efforts in a bid to keep the manufacturers in the sport. It would seem self-defeating to impose a heavy fine.

    In my opinion, a strong competitive penalty (grid place penalty, no championship points etc) would’ve been the more just result. It hurts the team, yet the fans still get to see their favourite driver/team in action. More importantly, it would encourage caution by the team in similar circumstances in the future.

    Keith, thanks for introducing me to the word ‘swingeing’. :)

    1. i agree to that, but fines paid to the FIA are usually fed back into the system no?

  40. Prisoner Monkeys
    18th August 2009, 10:10

    I’m going to join the chourus of people applauding the decision. However, I don’t think the threat of emptyseats was nearly as big a threat as people are making it out to be. Even fi the grandstans were empty, the race would still be run.

    Rather, I think the harsh nature of the initial penalty was actually a knee-jerk reaction to the events of the previous week. Massa had been hospitalised less than twenty-fur hours earlier, and Henry Surtees had been killed a week previously. If this had happened in Germany, Renault would not have been barred from competing in Hungary. They would have been fined instead. The events of the previous week influenced the decision a lot, and it was clear Alonso was crawling around once he knew something was wrong. The danger was actually pretty minimal; he kept off the racing line and all of the grandstands in Hungary are outside the circuit – the left – whereas Alonso’s right-front wheel went.

  41. I believe inconsistent punishments act as a better deterrent than consistent ones.

    With consistent punishments, the danger is that once the teams figure out the punishments for specific transgressions, they will start to make trade-offs around each one. At every juncture, they will ask themselves if a track position is worth so many $$$ – sometimes the answer may be yes, and other times no. So you may begin to see teams taking a $$$ punishment in exchange for gaining extra points (resulting in better sponsorship perhaps) or other on-track advantages.

    With unpredictable and inconsistent punishments, the teams will think much harder before voluntarily trying to tradeoff on-track advantages for punishments, since the punishment can be pretty draconian and may not be worth it. They will also be reluctant to “push the envelope” in terms of committing transgressions.

    1. Mark Hitchcock
      18th August 2009, 16:51

      Not really.
      The way to stop teams doing that sort of trade-off is to make the punishments harsh enough that it makes no sense to risk breaking the rules.
      Which is why the original Renault punishment of a race ban would have been effective in sending the teams a message.

      As it is, no-one really knows where they stand and the FIA can decide what is and isn’t punishable and what is and isn’t an appropriate punishment whenever they want.

    2. I believe inconsistent punishments act as a better deterrent than consistent ones.

      aha!!! you believe do you!!?? LOL om%g..

    3. I believe inconsistent punishments act as a better deterrent than consistent ones.

      O.o!

      At every juncture, they will ask themselves if a track position is worth so many $$$ – sometimes the answer may be yes, and other times no.

      Are you now talking gibberish, little maybe? :)

      What is appropriate to say now is:
      How can the person making this comment possibly know this? haha..

      eat bit of your own soup?.. hehe

      anyway im not gonna be an #$% like you were, i think your comments albeit are driven by fuzzy feelings, they are indeed interesting ;)

  42. Accidentalmick
    18th August 2009, 13:58

    No other sport (at this level) has amateur judges.

    As far as I know, each circuit provides its own (unpaid) marshals. We will never get consistancy while this continues. We need professional marshalls, paid by the FIA, to travel to each race. Then the marshals reports to the stewards will have a consistant basis and the stewards will be much more likely to hand out consistant punishments.

    1. The FIA approves 3 stewards for every race. They are announced on their website.

      One of the stewards that was on duty when Renault got penalized for losing a wheel, was the infamous Mohammed Bin Sulayem:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrVZTgj5AUk

      In reality I think only the head steward Alan Donnelly does most of the stewarding. Every time there is some weird decision his name pops up.

  43. As an alonso fan that is going to Valencia on Friday I am over the moon but have voted that the punishment was too soft. I wanted him to face but $50,000 is pocket money in formula 1. They admitted they were guilty. I was expecting a grid penalty.
    But hey hubby supports Hamilton so that will be a good weekend teasing each other!!!!!1

  44. keepF1technical
    18th August 2009, 16:01

    so penalty for alonso then who blatantly drove around in an unsafe car then.

    i never like seeing cars being prevented from racing (there are already too few) but he didnt even get a grid penalty.

    i’m not one for conspriacies so i assume its a case of cleverly following the (legal) rules as opposed to mclaren who tried hard to follow the sporting rules and got stiched in the legal system.

  45. Although they shouldn’t have had a raceban, they should have had a more serious punishment than this.

  46. spanky the wonder monkey
    19th August 2009, 9:28

    prev poll i voted that a race ban was too harsh. this poll i voted too soft. a 50k fine is small change and serves no purpose. the logical decision would’ve been to apply a grid penalty of say 10 places.
    what this does highlight is that there is no consistency between infringement and penalty and that is something that F1 / FIA should seriously look into.

    the mechanic f’d up in saying he’d finished when he hadn’t. the suggestion that FA should’ve stopped when he realised something was wrong will go against every instinct a racing driver has. generally you’ll do whatever you can to nurse the car back to the pits / service to continue the fight. how many people have had miss-fires in their own cars and continued, either hoping it’ll clear or with a thought of “it’s not that far to xyz”? likewise brake fade / broken clutch cable / leaking cooling system etc.

  47. The full verdict is out.

    Renault admits their pit stop procedure is unsafe. Their procedure doesn’t allow for problems fitting the wheel nut retaining device. The gun man lifts his hand when he’s done fitting the wheel nut while another mechanic then still needs to finish securing the wheel nut retainer.

    How can you say that with such a procedure you do not KNOWINGLY accept the fact that you take this risk?

  48. Commonsense prevails,
    Something that has always incensed me, but no one has ever mentioned, is why the FIA impose penalties at one Grand Prix that interferes, in advance, with the next race. Each country that puts on a Grand Prix has the sovereign right to have the best GP possible with all the drivers & cars competing.not only for the fans, local, & worldwide, to see the best possible action, but for the circuit owners to recuperate the vast amount they pay Bernie to put on the race.
    Just one example,{There are many.} When Hamilton ran into the back of Raikonen because of the fault of the official who switched on the green light to allow pit stops, but left the exit red, DOH !! it was not Raikonen or Hamilton’s fault. In American racing, they switch both lights to green when the pits open, back to the point, not only did both drivers end there race there & then, because of this stupid error, but Hamilton gets a grid penalty for the next race, the French GP, so this penalty interferes in advance with the spectacle of Raikonen & Hamilton battling it out at the front.The race was a procession. So the FIA were interfering in advance with allowing the French to put on the best possible race.as well as interfering with the race results & the world champonship in advance, That’s it I have had my say.

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